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Closeup photo of a slice of naked chocolate cake on a plate.

Naked Chocolate Cake

This naked chocolate cake recipe has the perfect amount of cake and frosting. Enjoy both without either overpowering the other.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cake, naked cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8


Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown sugar packed
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 2 tblsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup sour cream

Frosting Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 4 cups icing or powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tblsp milk

Optional Topping

  • Hershey’s chocolate bar


  • Get out and measure your ingredients.
    Overhead photo of all the ingredients needed to make Naked Chocolate Cake.
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Prepare three 8-inch round cake pans by spraying them with cooking spray and coating them with a fine layer of flour. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, eggs, and butter with a hand mixer.
    Brown sugar, eggs, and butter in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add cocoa powder. Slowly add boiling water while mixing. Blend until smooth.
    Cocoa powder added to the large mixing bowl. Slowly adding boiling water while mixing.
  • Add flour and baking soda. Beat again until smooth.
    Flour and baking soda added to the mixture in the large mixing bowl. Mix until smooth.
  • Add sour cream. Beat again until smooth.
    Sour cream added to the mixture in the large mixing bowl. Mix until smooth.
  • Divide batter between the three prepared cake pans.
    Prepared batter divided equally into three cake pans of the same size.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
    Baked cake batter cooked and out of the oven.
  • Allow cakes to cool for 15 minutes before flipping them out onto your work surface. It may help to run a knife around the edges to release the cake.
  • Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.


  • Place the butter and powdered sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Beat until smooth.
    Butter, powdered sugar and milk added to a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Add the vanilla. Beat until blended.
    Vanilla added to the milk-butter-powdered sugar mixture in the medium mixing bowl.

Assembly Directions

  • Place one layer of the cake on a large plate.
    First layer of the cake placed on a large white dish.
  • Frost top. Add next layer. Repeat.
    First layer of cake covered in frosting.
  • Top with cake crumbs or shaved chocolate.
    Naked chocolate cake assembled. Top with cake crumbs or shaved chocolate.
  • Slice and serve.
    Closeup photo of a slice of naked chocolate cake on a plate.
  • Enjoy every bite!